tv 116th Congress Freshmen Profile Interviews Part 2 CSPAN January 2, 2019 1:27am-1:53am EST
where we are. it is very troubling. we have a dozen years to put in place very aggressive policies. we have to set the foundation now. that will require bold thinking and willing to stake clean to aggressive policies. to aggressive policies. we were able to pass significant legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build green transportation, genetically improve building standards. i think we can do so at the federal level if we figure out the right plan and the right leaders. watch in all on c-span. a record number of women and
minorities, and first-time politicians are part of the 116th congress. c-span recently spoke with several >> decide to run for office? >> very simply because i love my community and thought it needed a change. fifth generation resident, my grandfather came out on a wagon upin in surge of gold, came short to be a peach farmer. my first job was paperboy for the local newspaper. when i saw issues i care about most -- health care, immigration, jobs -- my community was being left behind. i wanted to fix it. >> did you get ahead -- how did
you get ahead of the incumbent? >> health care was our strongest arrow in the quiver. i could not hold my baby brother when he was born for the first time because there were all these tubes coming out of and in the intensive care unit. he came out with a health care bill 104 pages long. luckily we had insurance to take care of it. now he is a healthy local college student. my brother would not have insurance until he was 65 and on medicare because of my congressman's vote to repeal the affordable care act. there are 100,000 people in my district with the same story. 23 million americans would have lost access to health care. i think everybody saw that and felt they had to get off the sidelines and get involved in politics because their loved ones were at risk.
>> one headline said you are the only venture capitalist headed to the house of representatives. what were you doing before you ran for office? >> a range of things. i have been focused on the same issu looking at it from a couple of different lenses, i worked with nonprofits in east africa, outing farmers, figuring how they could get access to markets. i was working investing and businesses is trying to get small companies to grow and i was teaching community college briefly helping other people start their own ideas in my becomeom and go off and entrepreneurs in a community where only 16% of adults have a college degree. what i think changed for me is on those issues i cared about, on the economic development issues that affect my community, -- bottleneck is not caused by a lack of teachers or nonprofit leaders or lack of
entrepreneurs, it is a lack of leaders with the kurds to moves -- forwarded get something done. when i decided to's -- to deal with the same but do it from a an arena i could make a difference. >> what are your priorities? >> health care, immigration, and jobs. 50% are on jobs in my district, a huge issue given the cuts we have been saying, we have one of the largest immigrant communities of any area of the country, there are over 10,000 dreamers, i taught them in my 20 college classrooms, i know their took twoone woman part-time jobs, herbert daca protection expired last october. we need to protect them and make sure we're focusing on the american -- values that we live in third, jobs. like soto fix an area many areas in america, we have an unemployment rate twice the
national average were 80% of the kids have for your reduced lunch. that is were -- what i am anticipating doing. beenat advice have you given about serving in the house and what has resonated with you? >> keep an open mind and work hard and reach across the aisle. those things have been compromised. i have a set of mentors, people who are invested in my success am a like the head of the california congress, congressman peter giller and folks from california who represent very similar districts to mine. in my district i do not have the luxury of preaching to republicans or democrats. i come from a community where 48 , 49% voted for trump and the rest voted for hillary. i do not think congress has done a great job of compromise and this time around in this
congress, we have a lot of leaders that come from communities like mine that have a vested incentive in an era of divided government where democrats control one house and did -- republicans control the other. >> what was your parents' reaction to your career? >> they were shocked iran in the first place. when i gave my mom a call and told her i was taking about doing this she anticipated a would call about other things. my parents come from a long line of service oriented folks in networking. not all that politically engaged. on the same working issues but not from the political lens. they are -- they were unbelievably involved. about a momentd when the community could come
together and we could create action on all the priorities we have been campaigning on. people were looking for progress. psa return -- retired police commander elected to represent the eighth congressional district and played hockey for the detroit red wings. >> the eighth district in minnesota would be from the northern suburbs of minneapolis st. paul all the way up to north and east all the way to the canadian border. the center is the city of duluth, minnesota which is on the western tip of lake superior. it is a big district, 27,000 square miles and i put a lot of miles under the campaign. >> what are the people and -- like and what are the rarities? >> the eighth district is blue-collar, commonsense conservatives. we have timber, agriculture,
mining is big, we have the most andnd port in this country we have shipping not only for stealkers -- bringing to -- plants. >> you were born in that area, what did your parents do? >> i was born and raised in duluth, my mom was a medical records administered her and my father's old janitorial supplies. my childhood, i have five brothers, we all played hockey. hockey was a big part of our family. both my brothers and i played division i hockey, my brother was a goaltender, he won the award as the fold -- first goaltender in the country, i won the national championship division i. and my younger brother rob just coached the u.s. olympic women's hockey team to the gold medal. i myself was fortunate enough to play professional hockey with the detroit red wings
organization. hockey is part of our lives in that part of minnesota. >> what is your life lesson, what did vote -- and did you learn? >> teamwork, perseverance, hard work is always the equalizer in for me many people never gave me a chance to not only play division i hockey but professional. it was through hard work and perseverance and dedication and that drive to meet your goal and i was fortunate. >> how long did you play for? >> three years, i retired due to an injury to my neck. >> what did you do after that? >> i became an officer, paramedic in cottage grove and i moved to my hometown and became a police officer in my hometown. rising to the rank of area commander and i was responsible for the western half of the city of duluth for long and short-term problem solving. >> and how did you decide you would run for the seat?
>> i spent eight years on the local city consul. i spent six years as a st. louis county commissioner. i thought the greatest generation gave us a great country and i stand on the shoulders of that generation and i want to make sure that the next generation, our children and grandchildren have that same opportunity to live, have the same hopes, dreams, and opportunities that my generation have -- had and have the passion to serve, that is what repelled me to run. >> what would your priorities be next week -- next year? >> to make sure that we help -- work on health care. back home in our district, i want to make sure our act community is taking care of. is our mining community taken care of. mining is our past, present, and future. elected toneros was the 39th congressional district, he served in the navy and one
$266 million in california's mega millions lottery in 2010. you're going to recognize the -- represent the 39th district. back it has been a while area die would like to think i am a good strong democrat. we have been going out and talking to people about issues. making sure we're rejecting those with the existing conditions and the environment. and education. >> when did you make the switch and why? neededcided after 2008 i to go in a different direction. they way i felt and the way i that iissues, the things talk about, commonsense gun legislation, education.
aregration reform, these always issues that have been important to me. it was issues that the republican party was moving away from. 2008 election, the way they attacked president obama with the whole birther movement and everything, that was not some thing i wanted to be part of. >> you ran in what has been a predominately republican area, orange county, why did you decide to run this time for this seat? >> i never thought i would run for congress, it was never anything i aspired to do. it was -- i was very happy working on our education issues that my wife and i have been doing throughout our foundation. electionfter the 2016 we need to change, we needed someone who would stand up to the current administration. we needed somebody who would ,dvocate for those that did not their voices were not being heard and i went around talking
to people and they told me maybe you should think about running. i talked it over with my wife and we talked about those issues that are important to us like education, health care, immigration reform, protecting our planet. that was when i decided i needed to run for congress. >> your education foundation, when was that started and what were the goals? >> we started that back in the end of 2010. it was about creating opportunity through education for individuals. i have been fortunate in my life. i was the first to go to college , people looked out for me. that is what we have been trying to do is if people the information they need to give them all the god and give them that boost to put them on a path to college. we have been doing that by sponsoring scholarships, by creating college access programs, we have been doing it by investing in early education,
giving books to kindergartners. love ofcould develop a reading. >> what we're doing before the foundation? >> i went to the navy out of high school, i was fortunate to get the rotc scholarship. that paid for my college and i ended up on the navy four years of my life for that. -- i served my country for 10 years. after that i worked for frito-lay for a while in rancho cucamonga at their manufacturing plant, i did various jobs in shipping and receiving. decided i wanted to change and after that, we ended up starting a foundation. after we had another stream of good luck and we won the lottery in 2010. >> $266 million? >> that was it. how have you prioritized things? >> it has been about going and creating our foundation to go
out and give people a leg up to give them opportunity for education. that was something that we knew we wanted to do from the beginning and we are -- we were lucky and able to do that to invest in our students. we now investing in them is an investment in the future. >> will your wife and family be joining you? >> i am sure they will come and visit me but they will spend the bulk of their time in california. my wife is not a cold weather person. she is not used to this. >> were you born and raised in california? fax i was, born and raised in southern california, lived there my entire life until i went into the navy. , iannot think of any other have had the opportunity to live around the world and across the u.s. and i cannot think of a greater place to live than southern california and that is what took me back. >> what would your priorities be while you are in washington,
explain how that impacts your district. campaignere during the , the number one issue that people talked about was health care, bringing down the cost of health care, bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, protecting those with pre-existing conditions, that will be my first priority. the other thing we talked about, comprehensive immigration reform. commonsense government legislation which includes universal background checks. 90% of americans want that. congressional39th district want that. that is what we will go and work on but we were are -- we are protecting our environment and education is a big issue and we need to go out there and create opportunities for those that need it. >> c-span spoke with republican they johnson who won at-large congressional district see which covers 77,000 square miles, west county plant to
represent a district that large. >> you have to be willing to work hard. i served six years as a state public utilities commission are -- commissioner. you have to know who the bosses are, you have to go out to every corner of the state, i have done that in the past. i am a little bit of a mutant, i like doing it. i am looking forward to it. it is a different commute. can you talk about what that will be like when you live -- leave washington after last votes and what that commit will be? >> as long as you make it productive time you can feel good about it. you have to have a lot of files. work hard to do their homework but that will be one area where i excel. the good lord did not give me with all talents but one talent he did give me was the opportunity to buckle down and work hard and do my homework. i am always going to be the guy who understands the bill at the
committee hearing, understands with the oversight hearing is about, understands with the line of question should be. the first step in that is making sure that on the flight back home i am doing my reading. >> what were you doing before the people of south dakota higher do? >> i have been in business in the private sector. in mitchell, south dakota, home of the world's only corn palace, we have an engineering and consulting firm and we have communications providers. we do business with 40 states and we are out there in some of the most rural parts of the country and we are helping companies put together a plan to put that fiber-optic network out. that is what they need to compete in a global economy and it has been a joy to be part of that journey. >> how is south dakota doing with those networks and providing that service? >> it is doing better than most of the rest of the country. with rural connectivity.
there is plenty of room for improvement. as long as you have one person missingountry who is one -- high-speed internet you still have work to do. year,about 8000 miles a we are good at it. we do a lot in 40 other states. >> how would you describe your political style? >> pretty collaborative. i am right of center. if i was the emperor we would have a federal government that would have a lot less intrusion into people's lives. the imports ofer the 10th amendment and federalism and allow state governments to be innovative, more flexibility to solve some of these problems. my style is not if i do not get my way i will burn the place down. this is about trying to find common ground so we can take one step forward tomorrow which uses another opportunity to take another step tomorrow and one step the day after that.
this kind of progress is frustratingly slow, it is to me and the voters. this kind of government works. the founders did not set it up so it would be fast and easy. they set it up so that this deliberative process, this work.rate process would i am looking forward to being part of it for the next two years. >> is there a member on the other side of the aisle that you have met that you think you will be able to work with on some of your issues? so much is made of the partisan rancor. i have not seen it, not personally. the number -- members on the theseside of the aisle, are people who are interested in building some bridges. --t night and mcadams and ben mcadams and i had a great conversation. is there an opportunity to work
we have auestion mark lot more in common that we have in opposition. let's pick some of those areas so we could move forward. there excited about opportunities. there are a lot of things i do not agree with my friends on the other side of the aisle. think speaker pelosi will make a mistake, i will not muzzle myself but nor will i take a political shot just to take a political shot. >> how do you define success two years from today? >> i do not think you make good screaming like your hair is on fire on television. it does come down to that hard work we were talking about, it doing theround to blocking and tackling necessary to get these important but not sexy provisions get into the larger bills. something liket the farm bill it is important we have a rural development title. that continues to invest in
rural housing and utilities. the broadband that we were talking about. also making sure that our insurance program is robust so that one bad weather event does hundreds or thousands of producers out of business. we have to have that safety net. have a mentor? >> the guy i was talking to before i went on camera, senator johnson. i have learned a lot from him. he also cannot be outworked. there are parts of our style that are different i always tried to take a bit from different leaders, i have learned from congresswoman [indiscernible] who will be one of those great governors, governor daugaard, these are people who had every possible opportunity to give me a word of encouragement and advice. it is sometimes said in republican circles that leaders
like to eat their young. that has never been my experience. i have found that they are welcoming to people who want to step up and help share the burden. >> you spent time in the governor's office. >> i was on staff, state government has 14,000 employees. that may not sound like a lot but it sounds pretty big to a country boy like me. $4 billion is a lot of money. there is an incredible opportunity to help the governor put his values and his views into place. the governor is the ceo of a , state government, the chief of staff is the chief operating officer sort of detail work at which i excel, we had a real -- really good run, the average tenure for the chief of staff is 18 months. when i step down after four years i was the longest tenured
chief in the country and i was as happy walking out that door as i was walking in. it was a joy to go to work every day for the people of south dakota. officeoccupants of the you are about to take over is headed to the governor's mansion. do you have any interest in returning? >> that is not of my business. south dakota has a governor, she will do a fantastic job the next eight years and i have a job to do for the next two years and it would be insulting to the people of south dakota for me to take my eye off the small and focus on one down the road. they may throw me out on my ear in 24 months and if they do that, that is their prerogative, they are the bosses, and they are less likely to do that if they -- i make sure i am taking care of business. what gets attention is your first floor speech. ite you thought about what is about? >> before i start making speeches and want to be
relevant. member of congress can show up and give some great speech with flowery oratory, but what if no one is listening? are the people who are listening do not take it too hard because they do not respect the speaker. maybe they will respect them on the -- two years from now. if not the day, it is political windowdressing. speaking from the heart, making an effective point from the podium, but before i try to impress upon the people of south dakota or this body what my views are, i want to earn their respect and my words will carry a lot more weight. >> new congress, new leaders, watch it all on c-span. the incoming freshman class of the new congress includes most -- the most women elected